When you live in one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa, you are guaranteed to be able to put some juice in the tank, and set course in any direction for +/- 60mins and reach a pretty destination whether it is seaside or inland dust and dirt.
In true fashion, mode of transport was decided, destination was undecided.
Getting on the back of the motorbike, it was inevitable, dirt road would be the route as we headed out in the icy air.
Heading out on the Hoopenberg road between the farms, I could breathe, no cars, no petrol fumes, and no stained tar, only dirt under the tyres and open fields and farms and the sound of the engine droning in my ears. Never before have I been so grateful for that sound.
Taking the turn towards Eenzaamheid, the dirt road continued and crossed over towards the town of Wellington. We ended up driving passed this amazing historical bridge, Lady Loch Bridge.
This bridge was built in 1853, started off as a wooden bridge to gain access across the Berg River. It was named “Lady Loch” after the wife of the Governor of the Cape Colony and High Commissioner of South Africa, Sir Henry Loch. In 1910 this wooden bridge was replaced with the first all steel iron bridge in South Africa which is still in use today.
From here we ended up stopping for a quick body warmer in a cup, my ultimate Achilles heel (next to peanut butter of course) some hot chocolate at a little restaurant ‘padstal’ called Du Vlei. Do yourself a favour, their hot chocolate tastes so much better on the stoep with the view than any Macdonalds could ever come close too.
Back on the steel horse we stopped in Riebeek Kasteel a few minutes later.
If you blink to fast, or yawn too big, you may miss this little beauty that is hidden away.
Riebeek Kasteel is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, it is situated in the Riebeek Valley.
This town is small, quaint and simple beauty. Trees still tower over houses, and the streets are still narrow. There are pokey little shops on every corner and the most amazing décor in the restaurants, you may forget to order your food while gazing at the artwork on the walls.
Not even to mention the amazing majestic Dutch reformed church that towers above all the houses in this little gem. The church was built in 1863, and still looks spectacular. With this church, this little town also boasts the oldest hotel in South Africa, the Royal Hotel.
Our next waterhole was definitely the beautiful rustic restaurant called the Red Tin Roof.
Walking up the stairs of the stoep, we were greeted by some friendly for legged friends that kept us company while we visited, and the atmosphere was peaceful, quiet, and a moment you won’t get while sitting in any Spur or Dros. Pretty, bright colored, and rustic beauty.
Friendly faces all round remind you that you are in a small town, where traffic lights are non-existent and fairy lights and candles are plentiful.
Looking at the time, most of the town starts dying down, Sunday means early home time.
So with regret we paid the bill, grabbed the helmets and got back on the bike with a bittersweet feeling, sad to leave this beautiful place, but grateful to know the open road waited for us, to discover the next little gem on our map.
Where to next,
We don’t know yet…
BackroadriderZA & YellowClarity